NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.
School: Plainfield South
Head coach: Bill Bicker
Assistant coaches: Adam Chavez (OC), Rob Szudarski (DC), Ben Delange (OL), Corey Carver (DL), Clint Reams (LB)
How they fared in 2018: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie). Plainfield South made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to Naperville Central in opening round action.
2019 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 30 @ West Aurora
Sept. 6 vs Minooka
Sept. 13 @ Oswego
Sept. 20 vs Oswego East
Sept. 27 @ Joliet Central
Oct. 4 vs Plainfield Central
Oct. 11 vs Plainfield East
Oct. 18 @ Joliet West
Oct. 25 vs Romeoville
Biggest storyline: Where will the Cougars place in the newly expanded Southwest Prairie Conference?
Names to watch this season: Senior RB Jaylin Eisen, junior QB Niko Schultz, junior OL Deuce Yates
Biggest holes to fill: The Cougars will need to replace eight graduated starters from last season’s defense, a unit that was one of the best in the Southwest Prairie.
EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Bill Bicker was able to put together a punishing ground game and a speedy defense to get into the state playoff field last season. 2019? Look for the Cougars to rely on an experienced offense led by junior QB Niko Schultz. If the defense can reload a bit, expect Plainfield South to challenge for another state playoff spot this fall.
Who wants is more?
NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school football followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m, just after White Sox baseball . The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.
This week, due to popular demand, we're going with a Backyard Brawls: 2.0 edition. We are featuring three games with strong local rivalry connections. Which "border war" high school football game is the most worthy of our coverage?
Lockport at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Naperville Central, 7:00 p.m. at North Central College
Barrington at Palatine, 7:30 p.m.
To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:
**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.
**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.
**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.
**Spread the word!
The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.
Chicago's Phillips Academy (4-0), who is currently state-ranked in Class 6A, will play this season and next in Class 7A according to the IHSA and its recently published IHSA State Playoff Weekly Outlook. The rundown was updated and released earlier Monday on the IHSA website.
The Wildcats are the only football team in the state that has petitioned "up" to play in a higher class.
"The IHSA reached out to us a few weeks ago," Phillips head coach Troy McAllister said. "They planned to void our last year of petitioning up to play in 6A because of the district system that is coming. So we were given the option of staying and playing at our current enrollment level or reapplying to move up again for another two years. We feel that playing in 7A is where we want to be as a program. We want to play in 7A for several reasons including playing in the 1-32 true seeding system and 7A also features several state powerhouse programs. We believe that's where we want to be as a football program. We just felt as a staff that the time to make this move is now."
Phillips, listed with an enrollment of 575 students on the IHSA website, is the only Chicago Public League team in the history of the IHSA state football playoff system schools to win a state football title. The Wildcats won a Class 4A title in 2015 and a 5A state title in 2017. They volunteered to play "up" in enrollment last season to Class 6A and lost to Cary-Grove in the 6A state quarterfinal round.
A move up starting this season for the Wildcats from 6A to 7A would now put Phillips in the same class as defending 7A state champion Nazareth Academy along with state-ranked Mount Carmel, Batavia. Glenbard West and Brother Rice.